Comeback Win Slips Away As Dawgs Go Down 7-6 In Eleven Against Arizona
SEATTLE - The young Washington Husky ballclub knew they had their work cut out for them as the 15th ranked Arizona Wildcats came to Seattle to start the weekend. They had high hopes but, following a pair of losses, found themselves taking the field Sunday hoping to simply escape the series with a win. Under overcast skies and sprinkles throughout the day, the Huskies handed the ball to starting RHP Case Matter and hit the diamond.
Top of 2
Perhaps it was the cold, misty weather or nerves from having players from his alma mater, Jackson High School, in attendance, but the right-handed sophomore was a bit off his usual reliable mark today. A strikeout and a ground ball double play got him out of the first inning, but the second was another story. He started strong with a five-pitch strikeout, but walked the next batter on four straight. The third batter struck out looking at a full count to put the end of the inning in sight, but then things got messy. Two more full count walks loaded the bases. The sixth batter of the inning walked on five pitches to put the Wildcats on the board. Matter next served up a double down the left field line that plated three. He continued to battle though and finished strong striking out Arizona's best hitter.
Bottom of 2
Michael Snyder led off the inning reaching first base on a throwing error by the third baseman. He advanced into scoring position following a Cam Clayton single to center. Coby Wallace reached on a fielder's choice that had Clayton out at second, but Snyder was able to advance to third. Next up, Josh Urps grounded out to first base, but it was a productive out scoring Snyder on the play to put the Dawgs on the board.
Bottom of 3
Following a ground out and a fly out, Will Simpson singled to center field. Right fielder AJ Guerrero walked to move Simpson into scoring position. Snyder stepped to the plate next and took advantage of the situation slapping a single to right field that brought Simpson in making the score 4-2 Arizona.
Bottom of 5
Josh Emanuels replaced Matter midway through the third and kept the Wildcats in check. Johnny Tincher drew a full count walk to start off the bottom of five. Coby Morales laced a double to right field that put Tincher on third base and Simpson followed with a sacrifice fly to center bringing the Dawgs within one at 4-3.
Top of 7
After two quick outs, Emanuels gave up a full count walk. A single up the middle put two runners on and triggered another call to the bullpen. RHP Ryan Velazquez took over, but was unable to deliver the final out, instead serving up a triple to right center. A ground out followed, but the Huskies were now looking up at a 6-3 scoreboard.
Bottom of 8
Snyder led off by scorching a double down the left field line. Two batters later, Coby Wallace singled to left field scoring Snyder from second. Arizona opted for a pitching change, but Ben Smith was having none of it as he doubled down the right field line advancing Wallace to third. Barney stepped up next and grounded out to third, but earned an RBI in the process via Wallace as both runners advanced. Tincher followed with a walk to put runners on the corner for Morales. He came through with a single to right field scoring Smith and, with that, the game was tied 6-6.
Bottom of 9
AJ Guerrero led off with a single to right. Snyder reached next on a fielder's choice that saw pinch runner Luke Rohleder out at second on a ball to third. Clayton singled to right field next, moving Snyder into scoring position with just one out. All eyes were on Wallace. Could he come through with a walk-off hit? Following ball one he fouled two off to really put fans on the edge of their seats. Two more balls - full count. A foul! Tensions were high. Then Wallace came through with a base hit to right! The crowd went into a frenzy! Would it be enough? Snyder was on his horse from second, but as he rounded third he quickly pulled up and retreated. Unfortunately, the ball came directly from right field to third base and Snyder was tagged out diving back, leaving fans in awe, begging for a rewind button. Eager to light another spark, pinch hitter Jake Leitgeb was aggressive in his at bat that followed, but went down swinging at three straight pitches sending the game to extra innings.
Top of 11
After a lead off walk in the eighth, Pitching Coach Elliott Cribby went to his closer, Stefan Raeth. He had come through as expected keeping Arizona off the board for three innings. Could they get one more out of him? Things got interesting quick as the lead off batter fought off a 1-2 pitch that chopped toward the mound. Raeth's approach had him reaching it on the second hop. Instead of fielding it with his glove however, he elected to barehand it but was unsuccessful and the bobble put the go-ahead run on first. The next batter singled through the right side putting two on. The third batter shot a ball through the other side. Left fielder Rohleder charged to field it for a potential throw to the plate, but in his haste the ball ricocheted a few feet off his mitt giving the runner just enough time to round third and safely score the go-ahead run. Having seen his earlier fielding mishap score, Raeth kicked it up a notch and struck out the next three batters on nine strikes to just four balls.
Bottom of 11
Three fly outs followed to cap off a weekend that the Huskies will be quick to put behind them.
Starter Case Matter lasted just 2.1 innings giving up 4 earned runs on 2 hits, with 5 walks and 4 strikeouts.
Josh Emanuels had an appearance worth noting as he went 4.1 innings, giving up 2 earned runs on 2 hits with a pair of both walks and strikeouts.
Though solid in relief, Stefan Raeth took the loss moving to 4-2 on the year. He put in 4 innings on the mound, giving up just 1 unearned run on 4 hits with 1 walk and 7 strikeouts.
With no mid-week game scheduled, the Huskies will have to wait until Friday to officially put this one behind them as they travel south to face the 12-15 (5-7) California Golden Bears.